Monday, May 16, 2011

Forced Marriage

Although forced marriage is not usually a form of human trafficking, it is yet another way that vulnerable people can be exploited by those who wield power. Please check out this effort, and either participate in the survey, or pass it along to folks you know who might be able to help.


You are Invited to Participate in a National Survey on:


Forced Marriage in Immigrant Communities in the United States

The Tahirih Justice Center (Tahirih) is a non-profit legal advocacy organization with offices in Falls Church, VA, Baltimore, MD, and Houston, TX that works to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing violence.

Over the last three years, Tahirih and several of our colleague organizations have been alerted to a number of cases of forced marriages involving young women from immigrant families residing in the United States. Some of these young women and their parents are US citizens; others are legal permanent residents, refugees, asylees, or have other immigration statuses. The United Kingdom and a few other countries have begun to recognize and address forced marriage through new laws and policies, but the United States has yet to develop a coordinated national response to the problem, leaving young women in crisis with few resources or options.

You are receiving this survey because you are a service provider, advocate, community leader, educator, law enforcement officer, or other professional who may have vital information about cases of forced marriage (either threatened, or that have already occurred) in immigrant communities in the United States.

This survey has been prepared in close consultation with sociologists and community-based/advocacy organizations with relevant expertise. While we recognize that forced marriage can occur in any community, this survey focuses on forced marriage in immigrant communities in the United States. It is not intended to stigmatize any community or to sensationalize the issue. Through the survey, we hope to better understand the nature and scope of forced marriage in immigrant communities in the United States, identify key stakeholders, and develop a collaborative national support network for those facing forced marriage. We also hope to foster respectful conversations—both nationally and at the community level—that reflect the complexity and sensitivity of the issue.

Survey information:

The survey will be available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TahirihForcedMarriageSurveyfromWednesday, May 11, 2011 to Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Please complete the survey prior to 5:00 pm EST on Wednesday, July 13th to ensure that your responses are fully recorded.

The survey should take between 10 and 30 minutes to complete (depending on how many questions are relevant to your experiences). If you need to exit the survey before completing it, your answers will be saved and you may return to the same computer to edit or complete your responses until the survey closes at 5:00 pm EST on Wednesday, July 13th.

Wide distribution of this survey is crucial— please forward the survey to others who may have encountered cases of forced marriage.



If you have any questions as you take this survey, please contact Heather Heiman (Senior Public Policy Attorney, Tahirih Justice Center) at (571) 282-6195 or fmsurvey@tahirih.org.

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